How is he a threat? North Korea detained an 85-year-old American veteran of the Korean War last month as he returned to California from a tourist trip, according to the man’s son. Merrill Newman had boarded a plane on Oct. 26 when a North Korean officer told him to leave the plane. "My dad got off, walked out with the stewardess, and that's the last he was seen," said his son, Jeffrey Newman. The reason for his detention is unclear, and the U.S. State Department won’t confirm it to the press due to privacy concerns. Less than a year ago, another detention of an American prompted a State Department formal notice against traveling to the country.